Call types

Unwelcome calls come in many forms. It can help to know what types of calls you might be receiving, and the strategies for dealing with them.

  • Unwelcome calls
  • Dialling equipment
  • Operator assisted
  • Electronic tones

Unwelcome calls

Types of unwelcome calls

Hang up calls
These are calls where you hear the caller put the receiver down or disconnect as soon as you answer the call.

Silence, hoax, obscene or abusive calls
These are calls where the caller holds the line open with silence or speaks in an abusive or obscene manner and does not hang up.

Malicious calls
Malicious calls include threatening calls or other unwanted calls.

Strategies for managing these types of calls

If you retrieve or identify a number for one of these calls, contact us and we'll do a confidential investigation.

Clearing the line
If you hang up on an unwelcome call to your fixed phone service but the caller remains on the line, this can prevent the call from ending and stop you from calling out. To clear the line, replace the receiver and do not pick it up for five minutes. After five minutes you'll be able to make calls.

Do you know or suspect you know the number that's calling you?

Call Forward Selected Callers
If you're on a landline consider using Call Forward Selected Callers to forward calls from selected numbers prior to the call reaching your phone. It's available on your phone right now. Charges apply for forwarded calls. Find out more.

This service is not available on mobiles.

Give unwelcome calls a special ringtone
If you're on a landline consider connecting to Smart Ring. This service lets you identify who is calling by the sound of your telephone ring. Monthly rental charges apply. Find out more.

Your mobile phone may let you assign a ringtone to a number. Check with your phone's user guide for more information.

Have you noticed a pattern in the unwelcome calls? For example, are the calls limited to particular days or times of day?

Use Call Return to retrieve the number
If you're on a landline let one of the calls go unanswered and use Call Return (*10#). A charge applies when you successfully retrieve the number of your last unanswered call. Normal call charges apply if you return the call. Call Return is not available for blocked calls and is available from tone phones in most areas. Find out more.

This service is not available on mobiles.

Do the unwelcome calls come unexpectedly?

Calling Number Display
Consider connecting to Calling Number Display to identify the caller. The caller's number will not be displayed if the caller ID is blocked.

For landlines we offer a monthly rental service with an option to rent the Telstra Calling Number Display telephone. Find out more.

On mobiles calling number display is automatic and there is no charge. Call 125 111 for more information.

Other options

MessageBank®
Consider screening your calls with MessageBank.

On landlines monthly rental charges apply. Find out more.

Standard MessageBank for Telstra mobile services is automatically activated. There is no charge for monthly access on this service; diversion and retrieval charges apply. Find out more.

Silent Line
Consider changing your number and making it unlisted.

For landlines Silent Line charges apply. Find out more.

Call 125 111 for more information about Silent Line on mobiles.

Malicious Call Trace
Do you think the call is malicious? Malicious calls can be threatening or unwanted.

Malicious Call Trace is a service that helps residential and business customers respond to these calls with the help of Telstra and the police. It records details about the source of the threatening call, helping you to identify the offender using controlled procedures with the help of Telstra and the police.

Malicious Call Trace also provides evidence for court proceedings, as records can be presented in courts of law.

Malicious Call Trace is a controlled product. Monthly rental charges may apply. Contact us to find out more.

Dialling equipment

Some telemarketing companies use predictive dialling equipment. This can cause automatic hang up calls after a few seconds to your phone service.

For more information on telemarketing visit the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA).

Strategies for managing these types of calls

Do Not Call Register

If you think you're receiving unwelcome telemarketing calls, you can register your phone number with the Do Not Call Register website.

Operator assisted

These are calls where the caller uses an operator to call your phone. This may be using either a recorded voice announcement, or a consultant.

Strategies for managing these types of calls

Did the call come from Telstra Reverse Charge Calls?
Contact our Unwelcome Calls Centre on 1800 805 996, 6am to 12 midnight AEST (seven days per week) or submit an Unwelcome calls enquiry form.

Did the call come from 1800 Reverse?
Contact the 1800 Reverse Customer Enquiries Centre on 1300 360 522 during business hours.

Other options 

Do Not Call Register
If you think you're receiving unwelcome telemarketing calls, you can register your phone number with the Do Not Call Register website.

Silent Line
Have you considered changing your number and making it unlisted? 

For landlines Silent Line charges apply. Find out more.

Call 125 111 for more information about Silent Line on mobiles.

Electronic tones

These are calls with high-pitched beeping, screeching or other electronic tones. These are often caused by fax or modem equipment, and are usually the result of incorrectly entered numbers.  

Strategies for managing these types of calls

If you retrieve or identify a number for one of these calls, contact us and we'll undertake a confidential investigation.

Do you know the fax number that's calling?

Call Forward Selected Callers
If you have access to a fax machine, consider diverting the unwanted calls to it using Call Forward Selected Callers. This service can be used to forward calls from selected numbers prior to the call reaching your phone.

The service is available on landlines, charges apply. Find out more.

This service is not available on mobiles.

Have you noticed a pattern in the unwelcome calls? For example, are the calls limited to particular days or times of day?

Call Return
If you’re on a landline let one of the calls go unanswered and use Call Return (*10#). A charge applies when you successfully retrieve the number of your last unanswered call. Normal call charges apply if you return the call. Call Return is not available for blocked calls and is available from tone phones in most areas. Find out more.

This service is not available on mobiles.

Do the unwelcome calls come unexpectedly?

Calling Number Display
Consider connecting to Calling Number Display to possibly identify the caller's number. The caller's number will not be displayed if the caller ID is blocked.

For landlines we offer a monthly rental service with an option to rent the Telstra Calling Number Display telephone. Find out more.

On mobiles caller display is automatic and there is no charge. Call 125 111 for more information.

Other options

Silent Line
Have you considered changing your number and making it unlisted?

For landlines Silent Line charges apply. Find out more.

Call 125 111 for more information about silent line on mobiles.

Contact us

We operate a specialist Unwelcome Calls Centre. Our staff are trained to deal with everything from basic advice to liaison with the police on call tracing.

Call us
Phone icon1800 805 996
Phone icon6am to 12 midnight AEST (seven days per week)

Contact us online

Phone iconUnwelcome calls enquiry form

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